Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Classic Scottish Problems No.3



Pump Up The Jam V5 6c - Sguman boulders, Glen Brittle, Skye


Described by first ascensionist James Sutton as a 'deluxe 10 m jamming crack' (since when is jamming deluxe!!), this line is probably the most 'climb-me' problem on the Isle of Skye. It is indeed a long jamming crack just above the ground, overhanging severely and requiring grit, single-mindedness and lots of tape.

It is also remote and is the finest example of what can be found if you take the Scottish bouldering approach: mat, boots, stove, go walking... it is located in the An Sguman east cluster (GR 443 184) just past the Coire a Ghrunnda burn, about 40 minutes from Glen Brittle campsite. It lies in a cave cluster, which is quite obvious from far away, small holly trees grow roundabout. It is an absolute must of a problem, as it is so unique - a kind of Separate Reality for Scotland (even in the Peak you'd be hard-pushed to find such a perfect 'bouldering' jam-crack a few feet off the ground). Every wish-list should have a jamming problem, it is a lost art and no climber is complete without attempting to master it, whether you love or loathe the technique, rock sometimes has no other hold other than putting your thumb in your palm and camming it all in...

The problem itself is a delight, starting on good jams, but soon becoming demanding and technical in how you sequence your jams and how best to hook your toes... with persistence it all comes together and you might find yourself at the final brutal pull through the nose - if you are canny enough and determined enough!

Remember, pain is just weakness leaving the body!

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